Susanna McLeod, Chucklebits: Updates in the 'Toons

15 October 2004

    Get ready tv cartoon fans, Stewie Griffin will be back! Thanks to a groundswell of fan support, it has finally happened: Family Guy is returning to television.

    Axed from the small screen by Fox Network executives when its three-year run ended in 2002, the cult favourite will return early in 2005 with up to 35 new episodes. What changed those execs' minds? Well, sales of over 1.6 million copies of Volume 1 (the first two seasons) of Family Guy on DVD might have had something to do with it, and over a million copies now sold of Volume 2 (the third season).

        Dedicated fans will also delight to a Family Guy movie coming out sometime in the future. It will go straight to DVD.

So, Fox Executives, how about renewing Futurama, too?

     Family Guy home page:

    Family Guy Page on TV Tome:

    Sales stats:

Family Guy

    Hosted by The Washington Post Writers Group, the next FineToon Fellowship to find and mold budding cartoonists into professionals will be held in 2006. Applications will be available in May of 2005. Applicants must submit four weeks of strips or panels plus at least two Sundays with their entry form. The winners receive a one-year development contract and a $5000 stipend. See the link below for the complete rules.

    Chosen out of more than 400 talented artists, this year’s amazing FineToon Fellowship Award winners are:

  • Steve Skelton for Stressman & Chalk Dog
  • Todd Machen for Attack of the Killer Soccer Moms
  • Dan Killeen for Steve
  • Valerie Constantino for V.J. and Company (Sadly, Ms. Constantino passed away in February of this year.)

    See samples of their creative submissions at: broken)

    I’m glad I don’t have to be a judge… their cartoons are all wonderful.

    Congratulations to Lynn Johnston on this year’s 25th Anniversary of For Better or For Worse. Lynn began syndication of the captivating family strip on September 9, 1979, with Elly and John Patterson as a young married couple. By the time Lynn ends the strip in three years, life will have come full-circle, with the Pattersons now grandparents and their children grown. Many characters have come and gone through the lives of the stars in the strip, some teaching hard lessons about life and death. Lynn’s work has become more than a daily comics fix – it has become a part of readers’ lives.

    Lynn’s, and her staff’s, success was celebrated by a party given in her honour in Kansas City by her Syndicate, Universal Press Syndicate, Uclick, Andrews and McMeel Publishing and AMUSE. topics available.)

    Read a recent interview with Washington Post’s Live Online Chat, held October 8, 2004:

    More Congratulations to Greg Evans, creator of the popular Luann comic strip. Greg was honoured this spring by the National Cartoonists Society as Cartoonist of the Year.

for better or for worse

    Greg began the comic strip in 1987 as a positive cartoon for teenage girls and families. He touches on the good times and the sad, making Luann much more than a quick giggle. In his United Features Syndicate biography, Greg states his mission as "My aim is to touch readers' hearts as well as their funny bones, to enlighten as well as entertain."

    The daily Luann installment:

    Greg Evans's inspiring advice on becoming a cartoonist:

    Dum, Dum, da Dum, taking a step away from its usual theme strips on diets, work, insecurities and loneliness, the comic strip Cathy is heading down a new path. The bridal path, that is. In case you haven’t heard, the countdown is on. There is less than four months until Cathy and Irving get married.

    Creator of the comic strip Cathy, Cathy Guisewite herself married for the first time at age 47. After six years of marriage, she feels that her long-single character should share in the experiences. Cathy Guisewite noted in a February, 2004 WP Live Online Chat that, “I’ve also beeen married just long enough to be confident that my husband has a good sense of humor about himself, since I suspect that many people are going to suspect that when I’m writing about Irving I’m writing about him.”

    Wildly successful with women of all ages, Cathy has been in syndication since November 22, 1976, and will reach its 10,000th panel in spring 2005. First announcement of the Wedding:

    Universal Press interview with Cathy on the 25th Anniversary (2001):

Read more about these fascinating cartoonists:

Lynn Johnston

Cathy Guisewite

(Chucklebits?! Who ever heard of that? Yep,it's Chucklebits. Gigglebits was already taken. :)

© Susanna McLeod 2004  
(Originally published in The Cartoonists on